How to write italic in Chinese

Just a dozen Chinese fonts:
Tencent gets italic corporate font - a first for China

The size of Tencent can be seen from the stock market value: Recently, the valuation of the Chinese group was even higher than that of Facebook (currently: Tencent: $ 469 billion, Facebook: $ 515 billion).

What homework Tencent needs to do

As far as marketing is concerned, the group, like all Chinese companies, still has to catch up. "In China, branding with the help of writing is nowhere near as developed as in the western industrial markets," saysJ├╝rgen Siebert, Marketing Director of Monotype in Berlin. He compares the situation with the 1950s in Germany. Given the manageable number of different fonts, graphic designers in China mainly work with color and character sizes.

There is still some catching up to do and the market for new fonts could soon become correspondingly large. "Since font development is now highly technological, Chinese fonts with 8000 and more characters can also be produced faster than before," says Siebert, who once ran the design magazine page co-founded.

Monotype relies on China

For Monotype, China is at the top of the priority list. The company has enough experience. In the past, among other things, the Japanese and Latin script for Sony. It is now freely available. Also Mercedes Benz and the Volkswagen-Group have released their corporate fonts at some point. It remains to be seen whether the Tencent font can also be used by third parties at some point.

There is great interest in the introduction of the Tencent script. This is ensured by the fact that it is in italics. Something that even type expert Siebert did not expect from his colleagues. "Italic fonts are unknown in the country's writing culture." Hui and his design team had therefore experimented with various gradients and degrees for a long time. In the end, a slanted box into which they constructed the italic Chinese characters helped.

"To minimize the graphic problems that lurked with skewing Chinese characters, we made several optical corrections to each character to make the italic effect as comfortable as possible for our eyes," says Monotype designer Hui. Type rules for the harmonization, which the team borrowed from the Latin type design, helped.

The making-of shows how complex this process is.